Mistake on job application
June 18, 2021 3:01 PM   Subscribe

I mistakenly put the wrong gpa on a job application and now I've unexpectedly advanced in the process and need to correct this.

I have been halfheartedly searching around on job boards for the last month or two and I saw one that was interesting, but sort of a long shot, and applied on a whim. The online application asked for my GPA for my undergrad and graduate degrees and wouldn't allow me to leave the field blank. The application was closing that night, I was in the middle of a move, and my transcripts were boxed up on a truck. I didn't have time to order them before the application was due so I entered what I thought I remembered.

They actually contacted me for a phone interview which went well and an insane skills test that I thought I bombed. After not hearing anything for a few weeks I assumed I was out of the running. Turns out I've advanced to a final interview. Cool!

So I unpacked the box with my transcripts today and I remembered my undergrad correctly on the application, but I put down 3.98 for my graduate degree and it was actually a 3.94. Ugh. This is absolutely a company that cares about gpa, but I'm hoping that small of a discrepancy isn't that big of a deal... especially if I contact them now and am forthcoming about what happened before moving any farther in the process.

I'm really struggling to write this email. Can someone help me out with a script for this? I don't want to be perceived as a candidate who would lie about their academic accomplishments, but it is totally on me and I should have found a way to double check. I'd also completely welcome anyone who's been on the other side of this sort of thing who can tell me it's going to be ok and I'm completely overthinking this.
posted by Kicky to Work & Money (10 answers total)
Best answer: I've worked for a company that cared about GPA, and I really don't think they'd care about that difference, though they might care if they felt like someone intentionally misrepresented it. I would probably just say something along the lines of "I didn't have my academic records on hand when I completed the application, so I provided my GPA to the best of my recollection. I just got access to the records, and I realized that I made a minor error. On the application, I stated my GPA as 3.98, however the actual GPA is 3.94. I hope this will not be an issue, but I wanted to let you know as soon as I became aware of the discrepancy."
posted by primethyme at 3:09 PM on June 18, 2021 [39 favorites]

I’d never say anything about it and just apologize for the typo if anyone asks. You gave them your transcript, you’ve established you have nothing to hide. I don’t think anyone would infer it was anything but a mistake.
posted by skewed at 3:13 PM on June 18, 2021 [14 favorites]

It’ll be ok! It’s HIGHLY unlikely anyone will care about this small of a discrepancy.

I’d almost tell you not to bother correcting it, but since you mentioned they do care about GPA it’s probably a good idea to be transparent.

primethyme’s script is good. Don’t be too long-winded, and you don’t even need to apologize — just say you wanted to let them know about the discrepancy, just in case.

If they give you a hard time about this, they’re probably not a good company to work for anyway.
posted by mekily at 3:13 PM on June 18, 2021 [7 favorites]

0.04 is a tiny discrepancy, but if it's a company that cares about GPA then you're doing the right thing by getting out in front of it. I would keep it super brief and not bother with the context of not having access to your transcripts etc...if .04 matters, you won't be advancing and they won't care why. I'd just send an email saying that you're looking forward to the interview but want to share with them ahead of it that you made an error on your application and that your true GPA is 3.94. Companies are weird and cut-off numbers are weirder, but I really don't think you will lose the opportunity over this. The .9 is more important than the .08.
posted by assenav at 3:15 PM on June 18, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: 0.04 points on a GPA? That is, what, the difference between an A and a B in one class? If they like you enough for a final interview, this should not take you out of the running for the job.

Perpetuating a lie once you've realized your mistake, however, could absolutely be a disqualifier, so definitely correct this quickly now you've realized your mistake, own up to it. Primethyme's script is great.

If it does end up being a problem for them, that's a sign that they are so intolerant of typos (that's what this amounts to) that working there would be a nightmare.

(I work in a field that cares very, very much about GPA in applicants and if I came across this issue in an application, it would barely register.)
posted by basalganglia at 3:17 PM on June 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

I should add, I got a job at that GPA-caring company with a MUCH worse GPA than 3.94, so I suspect you're in excellent shape in that regard.....
posted by primethyme at 3:17 PM on June 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

If the company cares about this typo, you don't want to work for them. The culture will be utterly oppressive.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:57 PM on June 18, 2021 [9 favorites]

Obligatory mention of the Norwegian submarine anecdote.

(You did well in the skills test. They really should not care about the GPA at this point. Others have provided good scripts that you could probably use to be 100% in the clear, but I think it's going to be ok.)
posted by batter_my_heart at 3:58 PM on June 18, 2021 [5 favorites]

Primethyme has the script. That said, in terms of delivery, don't think of this as rectifying a mistake. Think of it as an opportunity to demonstrate integrity. Your delivery will be more confident and come across better.
posted by bfranklin at 4:03 PM on June 18, 2021 [10 favorites]

I work at a company that has a reputation for caring about GPA. In truth, this company cared very much about GPA in the early days...and now mostly doesn't. Are you certain anyone in this hiring process cares about GPA, now, in 2021? I feel like at least in my still credential-obsessed industry it's become unfashionable to gate hiring on grades.
posted by potrzebie at 2:32 PM on June 20, 2021

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